Racial disproportionality in exclusionary discipline measures among public school students has been well-established for African American youth in the United States. The research literature has included limited and inconsistent research findings providing information on the representation patterns among Hispanic students in school discipline. Previous studies on Hispanic representation in school discipline have established a need for data to be analyzed at the state level. Using a large dataset acquired from the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights - Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) for the 2013-2014 school year, this paper examines if Hispanic students are disproportionally represented in exclusionary discipline measures for the five states with the highest percentage of Hispanics within the population. Using ratio calculations for proportion and risk ratios, we determined risk and describe the extent of disproportionality for in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and expulsion among Hispanic students compared to their White, non-Hispanic peers.This paper also examines differences in racial/ethnic disparities by gender. The results of this study indicate that significant disproportionality exists for Hispanic students to some degree for various exclusionary discipline categories in every state analyzed. The analysis also indicated Hispanic females are at a higher risk of receiving suspension compared to White, non-Hispanic females and Hispanic males compared to White, non-Hispanic males. To increase understanding of school disciplinary patterns for Hispanic students, including the results of this investigation, future research should examine office discipline referrals, and analyze discipline data from the district and school levels in order to determine if and to what extent additional school and community factors affect the discipline gap.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





exclusionary discipline, gender, Hispanic, racial disproportionality